Mexico City Water Crisis Highlights Need for New Water Infrastructure Says Kleyne. Climate Change Threatens Mexico City’s Water Supply.
Water Life Science® creator Sharon Kleyne has spend decades insisting that water must become the world’s number one priority and calling for global new water infrastructure plans. So far, Kleyne’s demands have met with mixed results. But in some parts of the world, in some countries, the time for procrastination is over. One such crisis location is Mexico City.
Mexico City is home to a population of 22 million, rising to 27 million if outlying areas are included in the tally. Studies predict that the population will exceed 30 million by 2030. Situated 2,000 feet above sea level and subjected to heavy rainfall and flash flooding, the city is rapidly running out of water. 40 percent of the rainfall is lost due to faulty infrastructure. Kleyne is not the only one to sense that something troubling is in the wind in a city that produces over 40,000 liters of sewage every second. Studies also predict that unless drastic measures are taken, the city’s water reserves will be completely exhausted in 30 years.
Kleyne, host of the nationally syndicated radio program, The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health on VoiceAmerica sponsored by Nature’s Tears® EyeMist®, notes that many residents get water only twice a week, while the poorer residents have no access to the city’s water supply. Donkeys are still used to transport water to outlying areas, Kleyne says, and even close-in farmers are affected by dried up wells and water holes. Equally disturbing, Kleyne points out, is the fact that as the city dries up, humidity is falling. This means that more people will suffer from over-evaporation and the disease and illness that takes hold as a result.
In addition to climate change, what else contributes to this crisis? Aging, crumbling infrastructure, Kleyne asserts. There is also the fact of rubbish piled on streets that clog drain pipes and back up the system. Then there are the floating houses erected south of the city that destroy water quality and the canals they occupy. These conditions lead to sewage lines that burst and flood houses with contaminated water. The attendant health crisis is obvious.
These problems are bad enough, says Kleyne, but there are more. The great aquifers beneath Mexico City is drying out faster than it can be replenished. “We are exploiting our natural aquifers at a very high rate,” says Arnoldo Matus Kramer, the city’s chief resilience officer. Because of the water loss, seismic activity has increased , Some parts of the city are sinking, causing additional damage to infrastructure.
What can be done? As usual, Kleyne says, humanity has been slow to respond. Water pipes need to be replaced. New underground waste water tunnels, currently under construction, are needed. When the Emission Tunnel is completed, it will be one of the world’s largest drainage tunnels and will relieve much pressure in Mexico City’s drainage system. Still there is much work to do, Kleyne says. Chief resilience officer Kramer agrees. “Access to water is a human right,” Kramer says. We need international water plans for new water infrastructure,” Kleyne says, “before the entire world is in the same serious crisis that Mexico City finds itself in now.
Before you read this article, were you aware of the water crisis in Mexico City? Are you aware of similar crises brewing in cities and towns in the U.S.?